9 Aspects of A Healthy Relationship
Is there a recipe for strengthening a romantic relationship? Dr. Gottman, expert couples therapist and researcher has proposed a method that is supported with empirical evidence to increase marital satisfaction and reduce marital challenges (Babcock, Gottman, Ryan, & Gottman, 2013).
Gottman’s research has found nine aspects of a healthy relationship:
- Build and enhance love maps
This can be practiced by increasing communication – continue to know one another. Ask questions, learn or increase awareness of your partner’s stories, delights, stressors, dreams, etc.
- Share fondness and admiration
Increase and verbalize appreciation, respect, and affection for one another on an every day basis, even for the little things. Let your partner know that you are proud of them.
- Turn towards
Be open about your daily needs and, reciprocally, meet your partner’s stated needs. Express interest and engagement in what one another has to share.
- Positive Perspective
Foster an open-minded and optimistic approach to resolving conflicts.
- Manage conflict
Every couple will experience challenges, and some of them are unsolvable and will take continued efforts to manage throughout the course of your lifetime. Acknowledge they will arise and continuously work through them. Compromise can be your best friend.
- Make dreams come true
Remember those hopes and dreams you talked about in step number 1? Now is the time to create a supportive environment and encourage each other’s aspirations and passions.
- Create shared meaning
Bring awareness to underlying narratives and symbols in your relationship. Does ‘love’ mean the same thing to both of you?
Put your partner’s interest above your own. Also acknowledge that your partner is doing the same. You have each other’s backs.
Accept that you and your partner are devoted to one another, regardless of the bumps and curves along the way.
At GroundWork Counseling we provide evidence-based Gottman couples therapy to both heterosexual and same-sex couples. Our couples therapist has received training in the Gottman method and provides solution-focused and evidence-supported treatment to couples seeking to strengthen or repair their relationship.
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